Political Grandstanding Has Real Human and Economic Costs

Political Grandstanding Has Real Human and Economic Costs

CHICAGO, May 31, 2019  The Trump Administration announced that it will begin to levy tariffs on Mexico, allegedly as a measure to force that country to stop asylum seekers from crossing Mexico and seeking protection in the United States.  Mexican President, Manuel Lopez Obrador, had a swift and clear response to this latest round of anti-immigrant rhetoric: “social problems are not resolved with taxes or coercive measures.” Other commenters warned of negative economic consequences for both countries.  But those who will suffer most directly from the latest round of xenophobic rhetoric will be the most vulnerable– the asylum seekers who are in dire need of humanitarian protection.

Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas made the following statement:

“Far from a serious policy proposal, the announcement from the White House regarding the use of tariffs to punish Mexico on migration should be treated as the irresponsible political theater that it is. President Trump continues to stoke the fires of racism and xenophobia, in hopes to galvanize and increase his support as he seeks re-election in 2020. The attack against immigrants and refugees continue to be a centerpiece for the Trump Administration. Both Mexico and the United States should be doing more to ensure basic respect for human rights and humanitarian protections for those at greatest risk all along the Central America-Mexico-US Migration route.  

Reports continue to emerge of families being separated at the border and we know of six children who have died in US migration custody since last September. New restrictions on asylum, known as “Remain in Mexico” have forced thousands of asylum seekers to return to Mexico in very precarious conditions.  In Mexico, a report released today by the Human Rights Observation Mission, detailed serious concerns for the safety and human rights of migrant and refugee children on Mexico’s southern border as well.

As long as we turn a blind eye to the problems that are causing people to lose hope for the future and flee their countries of origin, no amount of political grandstanding will make a difference.  Alianza Americas calls on legislators to work in collaboration with Mexico and Central American countries to address the underlying problems of inequality, lack of opportunity for decent jobs, corruption, and violence that currently drive forced migration, and that in many instances are also the real source of anxiety and uncertainty about the future for millions of US households. We must also come together to change our approach to economic development in ways that respond to the realities of climate change that are already causing displacement, especially among the poorest and discriminated communities.

Alianza Americas will continue to work with our members and our partners in the Refuge4Families campaign to make sure that members of Congress understand the real issues driving migration in our hemisphere.  We will continue to urge legislators to protect these and other immigrant families who have come under attack from the racist and xenophobic policies of this administration and to press for bi-partisan solutions.”

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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